Cobb salad

Cobb salad (September 5, 2012)

We tend to think of casseroles and stews as one-dish meals, but a main dish salad fills the bill as well. And at this time of year, when summer hasn't quite finished with us — nor, happily, the local farmers markets — these colorful, crunchy menu items can be the perfect what's-for-dinner solution.

We present a small sampling of such salads, ones that the gang will undoubtedly enjoy at the end of a busy, school-year day. Even if there's no one in the house involved with the public schools, for most of us, the lazy days of summer are at an end, and it's time to get back to some kind of routine. We suggest making these eye-catching, healthy dishes a pleasant compensation for a hard day's work.

Cobb salad

We begin with our take on this classic that features lots of red, white and green(s). You can fix your own favorite dressing for it, or try ours, a version of another classic — green goddess.


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Some impeccably fresh Italian bread makes a pleasant accompaniment. And, of course, the reward for the "virtue" of eating salad for supper — a favorite gelato flavor and cookies that complement it.

Dressing

2/3 cup plain, Greek-style yogurt

1/2 cup light mayonnaise

4 tablespoons white wine vinegar

4 tablespoons chopped scallion (green parts only)

3 tablespoons chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons chopped, fresh chives

5 anchovies, drained, patted dry, chopped

1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon

1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt, optional

Salad

12 cups torn romaine lettuce

1 cup trimmed watercress